Public Art Project
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) has been working with the City of Chattanooga Parks and Open Spaces to turn a 1.4-acre site in the Oak Grove neighborhood into a vibrant community park, currently referred to as Lynnbrook Park. TPL received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to fund an artist-led engagement process for the park. Under the artist led team, Josiah Golson worked with the community to inspire and inform the park’s conceptual layout and function. The project is now a City capital project and is moving into the construction phase. Golson will continue to engage the community as a PAC Creative Strategist from April to June 2021 to inform how public art can be incorporated into the park and meet the needs of the community through the Art In Capital program. The program ensures that public art is integral to how the City builds itself, and provides more opportunities for the identities and cultures within our communities to be reflected in shared public spaces.
The first engagement activity will include coloring and activity pages distributed to students at Eastside Elementary in order to provide feedback and ideas for the potential artistic elements of the park space in response to existing park plans. Oak Grove residents and neighboring communities who pass through the park space will then see a vision board creatively prompting thoughts and ideas for what the park’s art might look like, and what stories it might tell. Lastly, an updated vision board will circulate throughout the community to engage residents and the community in information, dialogue, and voting on the public art element and themes of interest. A Lynnbrook Public Art Project social media page will also launch to feature conversations and also recorded discussions throughout the process of engagement and to inform the community about the park's construction progress.
Public Art Chattanooga will issue an Artist Call this Summer to begin the concept design process for the public art element. The park is expected to be complete in 2022.
About the Creative Strategist
Josiah Golson is an artist, lawyer, and writer from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the founder of the 800 Collective, a diverse group of artists using art as a means of civic engagement and public discourse. Golson received his B.A. in Communication at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Developing his artistic voice while studying law, he aspired to address civic needs through creative channels. Through his interdisciplinary practice and 800 Collective, Golson seeks to unpack the complexity of communities and issues through images, symbols, and poetry in order to discover patterns, connections, and ideas that one would otherwise fail to see. His work is comprised of creative workshops, public art projects, and community development throughout the United States. Golson is also the author and illustrator of The Souls of Free Folk (Polyphemus Press, 2018), a genre-blending story inspired by the legacy of African American art and activism.
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Public Art Chattanooga